8 Reasons to Add Fish Oil to Your Diet

April 23, 2019 3 min read

8 Reasons to Add Fish Oil to Your Diet

If you’ve ever perused the aisles of Whole Foods or Erewhon, or pored over an issue of Goop, you may have seen fish oil touted as a cure-all for all manner of health issues, from heart disease to depression to diabetes. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for healthy eating, there are many scientifically proven benefits of fish oil, and most people should consider adding it to their diet. In fact, it is the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States.

Read on to learn what fish oil is and what the top benefits of fish oil are.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is a supplement readily available at health food stores in soft gel capsule form, derived from the tissues of cold-water, fatty fish. It is a concentrated source of omega-3 fats, also known as n-3 fatty acids or ω-3 fatty acids. Fish oil can also be sourced directly from fish themselves, so those who consume a high amount of fatty fish don’t tend to require the supplements. 

Why do you need fish oil?

To understand why you need fish oil, you must understand why you need omega-3 fats.

According to a research conducted at Harvard University, deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids is one of the top causes of death in America, and one of three dietary risks with the largest mortality rates, claiming up to 96,000 lives each year.

Omega-3 fats are considered essential fats, i.e. the body can’t make them from scratch, so we must get them from food or supplements. They are an integral part of our cell membranes, affecting the function of cell receptors, assisting hormones that regulate blood clotting, inflammation, and contraction and relaxation of artery walls. Omega-3s also help the heart to beat steadily, rather than erratically, which can be dangerous or fatal. They also lower blood pressure and heart rate and improve the functionality of blood vessels.

Fish oil specifically contains two especially important types of omega-3s: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), often referred to as marine omega-3s because they come from fish. If you’re not getting your DHA and EPA from fatty fish varieties like herring, wild-caught salmon, white fish, anchovies, or sardines, you should add a fish oil supplement to your diet. Another reason to consider supplements: cold-water fish varieties are often contaminated with mercury and pesticides, which can make it difficult to get your recommended levels of fish oil from fish consumption safely.

Here are some of the top benefits of fish oil:

  • Reverses anxiety. A 2013 study found that consumption of fish oil can reverse symptoms of anxiety.
  • Decreases depression symptoms. Fish oil supplements have been found to decrease symptoms of major depression disorders in adolescents.
  • Fights cancer. Fish oil has been used a natural cancer treatment, as well as a supplement that can make cancer drugs more effective.
  • Supports cardiovascular health.Research has shown that consumption of fish oil is associated with improved survival rates in heart attack victims and that it can be used to both prevent and reverse cardiovascular diseases.
  • Improves immune function. When combined with the antioxidant astaxanthin, fish oil has been shown to have significant immune-boosting effects.
  • Reduction of inflammation. One great benefit of fish oil is that it can reduce inflammation, resulting in healthier skin, hair, and joints.
  • Aid in weight loss. When combined with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, fish oil had help decrease body fat.
  • Supports cognitive function. The essential fatty acids found in fish oil can slow cognitive decline and help to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease in older adults.

Read to add fish oil to your diet? Check out our Holiday Special on our Omega capsules and our Daily Wellness Support packets.

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